Hi Friends,

I don’t know about you, but has it been really hard to get out of bed lately? It’s been colder and my bed feels so cozy and warm. For a puppy, there’s really no reason to get going in the morning, other than to go potty. And that’s no fun anymore. My paws get wet and cold and my potty spot is covered with leaves. I don’t even like to go outside when it rains. I’ll hold it for hours and hours! Human mom gets worried and thinks there is something wrong with me. She puts my sister’s pink raincoat on me and throws me out the door. I stand there in the rain looking at her in pure betrayal, and then I give in. I scramble to my potty spot as fast as I can before any of the neighborhood dogs see me sporting my girly rain attire.

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It’s Halloween time! That means it’s time to stop apple picking and head to the pumpkin patch. RMHC would like to share some easy Halloween crafts for kids that are both fun and affordable.

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On October 15, RMHC is excited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia, Pa. The story dates back to 1974 when Philadelphia Eagles’ player Fred Hill, decided to come up with a solution to camping out on hospital chairs while his 3-year-old daughter Kim was being treated for leukemia. After connecting with other families at St. Christopher’s Hospital For Children, Hill discovered many families traveled great distances to bring their children in for medical treatments.

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Good advice: make the best of the situation! That is what I see our families doing everyday at the Ronald McDonald House. With courage and resilience, they navigate through this difficult time in their lives, which have been turned upside down. They are away from their home and the people they love; they are each fighting for the best for each other. Every volunteer and staff member at the House is dedicated to making the House a “home away from home,” a place where families can find comfort.

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As summer comes to an end, I’ve found myself dreading the looming winter ahead. As some Wisconsinites do, I quiver over the thought of bone chilling temperatures and treacherous driving, but as the Family Meals Coordinator at RMHC, I am also quite saddened to see the Tosa Farmers Market come to a close on Saturday, October 18.

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More than 200  guests from the community are expected to be in attendance to celebrate the grand opening of the newly expanded Ronald McDonald House tomorrow, Tuesday, September 23 including local dignitaries, Children’s Hospital executives, donors, volunteers and families..  The ribbon cutting event completes an eighteen-month construction project that nearly doubled the size of the existing House.  With the expansion completed, the House will feature 70 guest rooms along with remodeled and expanded common facilities including a music therapy room, a fitness center, study rooms and new kitchens for families, as well as the Family Meal program.
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On September 20th we will hold our 30th Anniversary Celebration in the newly expanded Ronald McDonald House!  Over 400 people have already registered for what will surely be one of our most exciting events.  Taking place on three floors in our new expansion wing, the event will feature food stations highlighting regional dishes from some of our guests’ home towns.  We’ve had so much interest in this event that registration is now closed, however we are currently compiling a waitlist.  If you would like to be added to the list please contact Judy McGauran at (414) 475-0263.

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If you’ve been to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin recently, you may have noticed a few construction barrels, cones, trucks and cranes. Our Milwaukee hospital campus is in the thick of Zoo Interchange construction. Yesterday we celebrated a major milestone in the project – the opening of the Watertown Plank Road pedestrian sky bridge – one of many improvements the construction project is bringing to our area.

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I remember when I was nine years-old and we had a Pop Tab house in my third grade classroom. We used to get so excited to add a Pop Tab to the collection house after lunch. Most kids love to collect things, such as stuffed animals, rocks, marbles (and sometimes bugs). So why not Pop Tabs? Encouraging a collection is a great way to encourage thinking skills. I was always excited to see the collection add up and the anticipation of filling up the house became the highlight of my week. I knew that I was helping to reach a goal that was for a good cause, but like most third graders I was too young to understand. To help us further comprehend what we were working towards, our grade school took a field trip to the Ronald McDonald House in Hinsdale, IL. My friend’s mom was a volunteer at the House and I remember my classmates and I were ecstatic to see one of our room moms there!

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Interning as a Special Events intern at the Ronald McDonald House has been a very rewarding experience.

I am a senior at Marquette University, majoring in Social Welfare and Justice and Communication Studies, and this position allows me to combine aspects of both majors.

This is also my first internship, and I am so grateful it has been here. From working on auction and raffles at various special events, such as Rock-the-House and Golf Classic, I have learned just how much work goes into pulling off a successful event. The House is also represented at Summerfest and the Wisconsin State Fair, which allows our organization to share information and interact with the community. These events are great opportunities to have a fun time while also helping a great cause. As Jenny noted in her blog post in early July, there are always volunteers around and they are extremely important to fulfilling the House’s mission. Their willingness to help not only for internal House activities but also for special events is a huge asset. The attendees to these events can go home with awesome items- we have had everything from a 42 inch TV and sports and concert tickets at the large events, to food coupons and children’s toys at the smaller events.

Every day I am at the House I am doing something different, and I am learning to thrive in this type of environment. The team that I work with has been incredibly helpful and informative. The tasks and projects that we work on are very enjoyable. I love sitting in on meetings with the purpose of taking notes and learning as much as I can. I have developed computer skills like proficiency in Microsoft Access and WordPress, along with professional skills related to communicating with donors and staying organized, which will benefit me in the job market.

The next big event is our 30th Anniversary Gala on September 20th, and I am so excited to be on the team working on it!

An internship position is currently open on our operations team! If you (or someone you know) are interested in an internship learning about family services and volunteer management, contact Heather Egerer at hegerer@rmhcmilwaukee.org.

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